The Hincapie Kessel Bibshort is a dedicated pair of XC bibs with features that cross-country shredders can appreciate. The main short body is composed of several moisture-wicking lycra panels that conform to the body. Some of the panels in less-revealing spots are a sturdy stretch mesh for maximum breathability. The upper straps are fully mesh as well. The shorts still ride very securely thanks to leg band grippers to prevent them from riding up.
According to Hincapie, the chamois is a “seamless, anatomical multi-density ProTour Chamois with perforated foam inserts and center relief channel.”
Out on the Trail
Some shorts feel natural immediately, and others require a bit of time to get used to. The Kessels were the latter for me. The fit is quite snug and form-fitting, which can feel restrictive at first, but loosens up with a few wearings. This snug fit proved to ride well and prevented excess movement in the fabric.
Once I acclimated to the short, I totally forgot about any initial snugness, and they’ve proven to be a high-quality pair of XC bibs! Without material to snag and with a solid, unmoving fit, jamming in and out of the saddle, getting behind the seat, and moving around the bike was completely worry-free.
In general I love bibs with grippers around the leg, and I found the gripper on these bibs to be both minimal and unobtrusive, yet effective. This is excellent for both keeping the bibs in place, and for providing extra security for knee warmers.
Hincapie’s ProTour Chamois was quite different from most chamois that I’m accustomed to. The “perforation” is visible and actually does an extremely effective job of moving moisture away from the body and out through the ass of the shorts, as it were.
This functionality is excellent if you don’t use a chamois cream of any type, but I’m an avid user of Chamois Butt’r. A couple of times I made the mistake of buttering up before the drive out to the trailhead, and the perforations in the chamois successfully moved the cream away from the body, resulting in a white smear on the seat of the car.
As a result, these bibs might be best for riders who don’t subscribe to the cream. But even if you do smear white stuff on your nether regions, as long as you wait until you’ve arrived at the trailhead, you should be fine.
All things considered, the Kessel Bibshorts have proven to be a reliable pair of XC bibs!
Thanks to Hincapie for providing the Kessel for review.
Thanks for the review Greg! You have provided valuable rider perspective data about this product, which one of the reasons I really enjoy your reviews. I think I may try these out now. Keep’em coming.
Note: you should try the Specialized SWAT bib shorts. They are truly phenomenal.